Alligators Pose No More Serious Threat Than Normal

Alligators Pose No More Serious Threat Than Normal

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Daphne, Al -

People who live on or near Mobile Bay have been concerned since one family's pet was killed last week by an alligator.

"We're heartbroken," said Barry Parker. "Harry had been with us 11 years. He had been with us a long time."

Parker and her husband Joe live near May Day Park in Daphne.  Their beloved lab Harry was killed by a 10-foot-long alligator.

"There are just a lot of alligators out there," said Parker. "I don't think there's any need for panic but people need to be on guard."

Wildlife officials believe that's true - if you live by the water you should be on guard – not for vicious attack gators - but to make sure you're not inserting yourself or your pets into the gator's habitat, especially at certain times of day.

"Early morning, late evening and at night which is when alligators are generally going to be feeding when the air temperature drops down," said Chris Nix, a wildlife biologist with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Despite the attack on Harry, Wildlife officials say the gator population is holding steady and that there are no more calls about nuisance gators this year than in years past.

Harry was found about two miles from Gator Alley, near I-10, where people routinely stroll by the alligators, and despite the signs, and the laws, often feed them. That interaction can make alligators more aggressive around humans.

In the case of Harry, the experts say it was simply nature.

A lab doing what it does – frolicking in shallow water…

A gator doing what it does… eating small animals… to survive. 

"You just have to be cautious of that... and give them a certain amount of respect," said Nix.

The gator that killed Harry was destroyed by wildlife officials. Nix says that's standard procedure when an alligator becomes a threat to humans or their pets. 

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